Scotland is on course for a sizzling “blowtorch” summer.
Temperatures will start to rise this weekend, with the nation on track for its hottest year ever.
In July, the mercury is predicted to soar to 31C plus.
Meanwhile, climate researchers say there is an “increased” risk of heatwaves this summer.
The Met Office favours “hotter-than-normal” conditions over the summer period, although there are also likely to be spells of prolonged rain.
Scotland has already been hotter than normal in all five months from January to May this year.
Scotland’s hottest year since records began in 1910 is currently 2014, which averaged out at 8.45C. But Met Office records show this year could eclipse that, with a final total of around 8.65C.
Met Office forecaster Emma Sharples said: “June could well see spells of warmer days mixed in with changeable conditions.”
The weather outlook forecaster Brian Gaze said: “31C highs in Scotland would not be a surprise.
“A ‘blowtorch’ pattern with several shots of hot air from southern Europe is expected.”
Bob Ward, of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, said: “Given the very warm temperatures this year so far and the forecast ahead, 2017 is on course for the UK’s warmest year on record.
“The risk of heatwaves this summer has increased, with above-average temperatures every month suggesting warmer temperatures are part of a trend.”